The Heron Ballads : The Election : A New Song

Tune - Fy, let us a' to the Bridal Fy, let us a' to Kirkcudbright, For there will be bickerin there; For Murray's light horse are to muster, And O, how the heroes will swear! And there will be Murray commander, And Gordon the battle to win; Like brothers they'll stand by each other, Sae knit in alliance and kin. And there will be black-nebbit Johnie, The tongue o' the trump to them a'; An he get na Hell for his haddin, The Deil gets nae justice ava. And there will be Kempleton's birkie, A boy no sae black at the bane; But as to his fine Nabob fortune, We'll e'en let the subject alane. And there will be Wigton's new Sheriff, Dame Justice fu' brawlie has sped; She's gotten the heart of a Bushby, But Lord! what's become o' the head? And there will be Cardoness, Esquire, Sae mighty in Cardoness's eyes; A wight that will weather damnation, The Devil the prey will despise. And there will be Douglasses doughty, New-christening towns far and near; Abjuring their democrat doings By kissin the arse of a Peer. And there will be Kenmure, sae gen'rous, Whase honour is proof to the storm; To save them from start reprobation, He lentthem his name to the Firm. But winna mention Redcastle, The body, e'en let him escape: He'd venture the gallows for siller, An 'twere na the cost o' the rape. And where is our King's Lord Lieutenant, Sae fam'd for his gratefu' return? The billie is getting his questions, To say in Saint Stephen's the morn. And there will be Lads o' the gospel, Muirhead, wha's as gude as he's true: And there will be Buittle's Apostle, Wha's mair o' the black than the blue: And there will be Folk frae Saint Mary's, A house o' great merit and note; The deil ane but honours them highly, Tho' deil ane will gie them his vote. And there will be wealthy young Richard- Dame Fortune should hing by the neck For prodigal thriftless bestowing- His merit had won him respect. And there will be rich brother Nabobs, Tho' Nabobs, yet men of the first: And there will be Collieston's whiskers, And Quintin, o' lads not the warst. And there will be stamp-office Johnie, Tak tent how ye purchase a dram: And there will be gay Cassencarry, And there will be gleg Colonel Tam. And there will be trusty Kirochtree, Whase honour was ever his law; If the virtues were packt in a parcel His worth might be sample for a'. And can we forget the auld Major, Wha'll ne'er be forgot in the Greys; Our flatt'ry we'll keep for some other, Him, only it's justice to praise. And there will be maiden Kilkerran, And also Barskimming's gude Knight; And there will be roaring Birtwhistle, Yet, luckily roars in the right. And there, frae the Niddisdale border, Will mingle the Maxwells in droves; Teugh Jockie, staunch Geordie, and Walie, That greens for the fishes and loaves. And there will be Logan M'Dowall, Sculdudry- and he will be there; And also the Wild Scot o' Galloway, Sogering, gunpowder Blair. Then hey the chastle Int'rest o' Broughton, And hey for the blessins 'twill bring; It may send Balmaghie to the Commons, In Sodom 'twould make him a King. And hey for the sanctified Murray, Our land wha wi' chapels has stor'd: He founder'd his horse amang harlots, But gied the auld naig to the Lord


Derek Riddell

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1795 and is read here by Derek Riddell.

Themes for this song

politics religion

Locations for this song


Selected for 27 March

A third, 'election ballad' from the spring of 1795, to follow on from those selected earlier. Local politics require local detail and here Burns duly names, shames, blames, and defames the various local worthies involved in the campaign for Westminster. The fourth and final 'instalment' appears on 28 March.

Donny O'Rourke

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